By: Dr. Sam VakninFormer Economic Advisor to the Government of the Republic of Macedonia
Administrative Measures: Public Education and Dissemination of Information – The Functioning of the Employment Bureau
The dissemination of information regarding employment practices, opportunities, market requirements, etc. should be a prime component of the activity of the Employment Bureau. It must transform itself from a mere registry of humans to an active, computerized exchange of labour. This can be done through computerized employment exchanges and intermediation.
To change the image of the Employment Bureaus from places where the unemployed merely registers and receive benefits to a labour exchange can be done by publishing examples of successful job placements.
I recommend to prominently display and disseminate information regarding the rights of the unemployed, their obligations and services available to them and to publish weekly or daily employment bulletins.
I recommend to place computer terminals in all bureaus with the latest data regarding jobs offered and sought. Both employers and the unemployed should be able to directly access and update the system from PCs or laptops or by submitting forms.
To organize seminars for the unemployed and to employers in which the rights of the unemployed, their obligations and the services offered to them and to their potential employers will be described. This can be combined with employment fairs. Separately, the unemployed should be taught in these seminars how to find a job, prepare a curriculum vita (biography), entrepreneurial skills, preparation of business plans, marketing plans, feasibility studies, credit applications and interview skills.
The Employment Bureaus in collaboration with the local authorities should organize job clubs, labour exchanges and employment fairs – places where employers can meet potential employees, currently unemployed. These should not be one-off, haphazard events. They should be periodic, regular, and predictable.
I recommend to oblige the mass media by law to dedicate at least an hour weekly (could be broken to as many as 4 segments of 15 minutes each) to unemployment: disseminate information, organize a televised labour exchange, a televised entertainment show (where employers will offer a job to a winner) and so on.
I recommend to link by a Wide Area Network (WAN) or Intranet with firewalls the National Employment Bureau, the Health Fund, the Pension and Disability Insurance Fund and the Social Security Office. To cross and compare information from all these bureaus on a real time basis (to specifically cater to the needs of an unemployed person) and on a periodical basis for supervision and control purposes.
The National Employment Bureau should maintain a regular presence in employment fairs abroad. Many fairs are global and work can be obtained in them for Macedonian workers (especially the more skilled).
I recommend the creation of a special office within the Ministry of Labor and social Work with the aim of actively soliciting employment abroad for qualified and skilled Macedonians (from construction workers to computer programmers). This office will:
– Scan for job offers in foreign countries
– Make contact with government structures, public sector, and private sector employers abroad
– Sign agreements with said employers and negotiate with them all employment terms and conditions. These terms and conditions are bound to be better than anything individual laborers can obtain by themselves.
– Advertise for workers in Macedonia, based on the agreements afore signed.
– Match workers with job offers abroad, based on the signed agreements.
– Self-finance by collecting a commission based on a the first pay of every placed worker.
A National employment Contract
A “National Employment Contract” should be signed between the government, the trade unions, the employers (Chamber of Commerce) and the Central Bank. All parties will have to concede some things.
The Employers will guarantee the formation of new work places against a freeze on employee compensation, a separate treatment of part time labour (exclusion from collective bargaining), flexibility on minimum wages and with regards to job security, hiring and firing procedures, social and unemployment benefits, indexation of wages and benefits, the right to strike and the level of salaries.
The employers will obligate themselves to fixed quantitative targets over a number of years against the receipt of the unemployment benefits of the newly hired (or another form of subsidy or tax incentive) and/or a discount in social contributions.